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Charities Urged to Voice Concerns About Fundraising Red Tape

25 July 2018 at 1:39 pm
Luke Michael
Charities need to take a stand in making submissions to a Senate fundraising inquiry, uniting behind solutions to offload red-tape burdens, social sector voices say.

Luke Michael | 25 July 2018 at 1:39 pm


Charities Urged to Voice Concerns About Fundraising Red Tape
25 July 2018 at 1:39 pm

Charities need to take a stand in making submissions to a Senate fundraising inquiry, uniting behind solutions to offload red-tape burdens, social sector voices say. 

Community Council for Australia chair Tim Costello has estimated fewer than 20 per cent of Australian charities complied with current fundraising regulations because they were a “total dog’s breakfast”.

The Senate inquiry into Charity Fundraising in the 21st Century was established to report on the current framework of fundraising regulation, with submissions closing on 6 August 2018.

Sue Woodward, director of national projects at legal charity Justice Connect, told Pro Bono News the social sector needed to “stand up yet again” to explain why fundraising reform should be a government priority.

“This is an opportunity we have to take to really get the attention of the Commonwealth government and state governments, to make them understand the problem and why they need to act now,” Woodward said.

Woodward acknowledged many Senate inquiries “just end up as paper on shelves” but said if charities put forward compelling case studies meaningful change could be achieved.

“Having a united voice about the solution is important and I think we do have a practical solution. So I feel we are better placed than we’ve ever been before to get some action,” she said.

Justice Connect’s Not-for-Profit Law service has published a template for submissions on their website to make it easier for charities to take part.

Peak body Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) made a submission to the inquiry calling for joint government action to reduce fundraising red tape costing the sector millions each year.

FIA CEO Katherine Raskob said fundraising requirements were “by far the greatest source of red tape for charities”.

“The current framework of fundraising regulation has created an environment in which a multitude of federal and state regulators have converged on the sector. This is because no single regulator has overall responsibility for fundraising,” Raskob said.

The lack of harmonisation around fundraising led a 2016 Deloitte Access Economics report to conclude: “Overwhelmingly, fundraising is the source of the greatest amount of regulatory burden for charitable organisations. Fundraising legislation differs significantly between jurisdictions which very quickly escalates the administrative costs a charity incurs.”

The Senate fundraising inquiry was established amid a long-running campaign from the social sector to #fixfundraising.

Campaign advocates have called for a national and fit-for-purpose fundraising regulatory regime to remove “burdensome” requirements.  

Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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One comment

  • Avatar Gary says:

    Re: Charities Urged to Voice Concerns About Fundraising Red Tape
    Both NSW RSL and the National RSL Presidents have resigned due to corruption scandals in the past 12 months and their actions have tainted RSL fundraising, preventing it entirely in the short-term. Governance requirements were lacking and unprofessional. “Cut-the red tape” is a populist slogan that makes necessary regulation appear negative. Generalising is a simplistic manner is rarely accurate or appropriate. Red tape for charities should be uniform and logical but given the diversity in the sector, it is difficult to imagine simple and straight forward regulations that are comprehensive (as are needed).

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